What is a cataract?

Contrary to popular belief, a cataract is not a type of “film” that forms over the surface of the eye.  In reality, a cataract is the result of a natural change occurring inside your eye, a gradual clouding that can make your vision less sharp over time.

The eye works much like a camera, and like a camera, depends on clear lens to properly focus images.  A healthy, transparent lens absorbs light and accurately focuses it onto the retina ( the back of the your eye), providing a crisp, clear image.

As we age, however, proteins in the lens begin to clump together, forming opaque clusters.  Over time, these protein clumps will eventually cloud the lens, allowing significantly less light to pass through.  The small amount of the light that does make it to the retina is diffused or scattered, leaving vision unfocused.  These clusters can also change the coloration of the normally clear lens,tinting it a brownish shade that affects color perception.

What causes cataracts?

The majority of cataracts develop on their own as part of the natural aging process.

Trauma to the eye, including injury, burns or surgery.

Toxin, including regular use of tobacco, alcohol or corticosteriods.

Exposure to radiation, X-rays or UV light

Certain diseases, including diabetes, hypothryoidism and glaucoma.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Blurred vision

Faded or dull colors

Poor night vision

Sensitivity to light

Left untreated, cataracts have the potential to cause a complete loss of vision.  Thankfully, treating cataracts now involves a safe, relatively simple surgery – an amazing procedure that can literally change the way you see the world.

How are cataracts treated?

The experts at Eye Consultants PC specialize in advanced surgical techniques to surgically treat cataracts. Topical anesthesia ensures your comfort during surgery and allows the surgery to be done without a needle stick near the eye. A process called phocoemulsification is used to break up the cataract and vacuum it away. Then the surgeon inserts an intraocular lens or IOL to replace the natural lens that was removed.